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100-YEARS-AGO: PRE-TEEN TERRORS TRASH HIGHER BROUGHTON SHOPS


History With Flynn

Aren't the kids of today little terrors, needlessly smashing things up, stealing other people's property and generally running wild, not like when I was..(insert own age group here).

Actually they have always been like that , just look through any old newspapers as I often do, and its the same old story of bored teenagers getting up to no good as this court case from February 1920 shows only too clearly, only the weren't even in their teens!

Mr Dyson who owned a chemist shop on Marlborough Road, Higher Broughton was in for a rude shock when he returned from his dinner break and found a window at the back had been smashed and somebody had been in the shop.

To his horror he found his shelves had been ransacked and the following items were missing, four tins of pastilles, one pound of cachous, four bars of soap, two tooth brushes, three boxes of cinnamon tablets, seven bottles of perfume, one dozen safety razor blades, three pounds of Spanish and five tins of boiled sweets, with a total value of £4 and ten shillings.

The police were called and Detectives Bird and Hodgson were assigned the case and they quickly made a lead thanks to a tip-off, always the way.

They visited an unnamed school and questioned two young boys, Harold Dunn aged 12 and Michael Earley also aged 12, they soon cracked and confessed with Dunn saying, "I'll tell you the truth, we both broke into Dyson's but we didn't take anything we threw it all away"

However once he got in the swing of confessing to things, he wouldn't shut up and confessed that they had both broke into a confectioners on Waterloo Road the day before and caused, "some damage inside" a slight understatement as you will see.

They were both charged with breaking and entering into the two shops and causing criminal damage and appeared at Salford Magistrates Court the following day.

Detective Hodgson told the court about the "some damage" inside the confectioners shop and it sounds a right mess, but I could imagine these two young boys getting carried away once they had started.

Eggs had been thrown up and down the floor, at the walls and the ceiling, four cases of chocolate were opened and trampled into the mass of egg yolks and shells.

On top of this they poured the contents of bottles of cordials, then they took from the shop window a dummy wedding cake and poured into it a mix of eggs, chocolate and cordial followed by a large bag of mixed sweetmeats.

He then said that the damage was "simply wanton" and when the "outrage" was discovered it took a spade to clear the mess from the floor..stop laughing!

The Stipendary told the boys it was a, "thoroughly naughty thing to do" and sentenced Dunn to receive six strokes of the birch whilst Early was remanded in custody for a week with a view to sending him to a reformatory.

When Mrs Dunn was informed she could witness the birching of her boy she said she did not wish to do so, but hoped that, "they would give it him very severely"

So there we go nothing has been learnt and nothing has changed apart from the birch being banned, however I fear there are a minority of people who would welcome it back.


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